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EGCC 4th XI Saturday, 4 May

Great game of cricket but 4s ending up chasing rainbows at Newick….. 

Last year’s league opener was played in 28 degree heat and sun. Not such need to pack the sun cream this year as we headed to Newick to play our first match in our new division. 

First toss of the year then and first win, so I elected to play safe and put the home side into bat. I passed the new ball to Ned who bowled his usual high standard – sending the ball with zip, swing and purpose and Jake, at the other end, bowling some superb deliveries on or around the off stump. We got off to the perfect start with both of them getting early wickets leaving Newick in an unenviable 6-2 after the first couple of overs. 

Their 3,4,5 batsman, however, were proving harder to take down seemingly especially keen to cut the ball, but our bowlers did well to peg them back from getting too many runs on the board. Avi then came into the attack and bowled with accuracy and fluidity ; picking up another valuable wicket with Ella bowling uphill from the other end, whose decision to start bowling over the wicket really helped her bowl some excellent deliveries . 

Alec said to me before bowling that he wasn’t in good form this week – it turned out his pessimism was way off the mark, as he bowled really well to get another wicket and only have 18 runs scored off his 5 overs and finally Nathan flighted some solid leg spin down the hill, before our openers came back in for the final 8 overs. 

So by tea the home side had clocked up 155 runs – a total we thought was very achievable. 

Certainly our optimism looked well founded after myself and Mark got off to a flying start : scoring over 50 within the first ten overs, we felt the juggernaut was moving along nicely, sadly for us it was about to hit a brick wall……. Firstly, Mark got out trying to hit their young spinner for a third boundary of the over and then the hail and rain came hammering down. Although by no means something we should use as an excuse it did certainly affect our momentum – the juggernaut was put into reverse. As we stepped back onto a hail soaked pitch myself and Avi were like bambini on ice. 

To make matters, Avi was run out quickly afterwards and I made a rash pull to get caught at mid-wicket – my only excuse for these bad decisions was that the sub artic temperature had obviously caused my brain to freeze and stop functioning properly. Fortunately Bhav and Jake had entered the fray and were steadying the ship somewhat – although inevitably the run rate was slowing up, despite their best efforts. By the time Kevan, Simon and Ned has been dismissed were just giving too much to ask our tail enders to get over the line, and we fell 20 runs shy of the total .

That said we can take loads of positives from the match – Newick’s fielding and bowling was good and we shouldn’t feel too disheartened as I think we played well in a very close run and evenly sided match. That said , we do need to understand that (perhaps unlike last season scoring 200 plus is not a ‘fait accompli’) and if we are going to progress this year we are really going to have to take our game to the next level, not be complacent against decent opponents…a challenge I’m fully confident we will be able to achieve.

Big thanks to the travelling supporters who came down to watch – it’s really appreciated, and especially also to Julie Rowland for scoring.